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A bat at the Las Vegas Wash being held by a biologist to gauge its wing span

Bats at the Wash

The riparian ecosystem at the Las Vegas Wash provides important habitat for a variety of bats. Over the years, project staff have conducted bat surveys to better understand the species and populations found along the Wash.

From 2004 to 2008, an acoustic monitoring survey was conducted using three Anabat II bat detectors to record echolocation vocalizations near water and other high usage areas. The devices were powered from dusk until dawn recording all echolocation sounds emitted near the acoustic monitoring stations. The digital files were downloaded and the data converted into line graphs. Once graphed, species were identified and differentiated by their specific call patterns.

A capture survey using mist nets was conducted from 2008 to 2009 at four sites, capturing 195 bats, representing eight species, all of which were previously detected through the acoustic monitoring survey. Once captured, data was collected documenting the species, sex, reproductive status, weight, and body measurements.

These surveys are anticipated to be repeated in 2023.

A total of 18 species were documented during the surveys:

  • Eight listed as "Federal Species of Special Concern"
  • Four state-listed as "Sensitive"
  • Four state-listed as "Protected"